The mailbag got backed up over the last few weeks while we were talking about… whatever those shows were about. So now we’re finally getting caught up.
Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.
00:00 Mailbag: Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary
Have you played the newest Borderlands 2 DLC and if so what are your thoughts on it? While we’re on the subject have you played Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode and if so what do you think of the huge difficulty spike?
07:31 Mailbag: Nier Automata
I finished Nier: Automata a couple months ago, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot since then — because oh boy, the story is a mess. Not bad, mind you, but definitely a mess, and the fascinating kind of mess at that. And I really, really want to see you analyze it.
So I was wondering. You got a new computer recently, right? Have you tried N:A on it, to see if it still crashes? I’ve read that the game tends not to do well with the 7xx series in particular, so it might do fine on the new machine.
Failing that: you have a PS4, right? Can I/anyone else who’s interested gift you a copy?
I looked in my archives, and Terry did not sign their email, so it wasn’t my fault this time.
11:56 Mailbag: Cutscene Skipping
Dear Injection Molding,
How do you feel about skipping cutscenes in games where the story isn’t very good? What makes you decide to skip a cutscene, and is it a scene-by-scene choice or do you decide “I don’t care any more, I’m going to skip everything”?
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed myself becoming more and more willing to go into “Skip all cutscenes, I’m only here for the gameplay” mode. I’m not sure if there’s a specific thing I’m looking for, but it feels like years of experience have made it easier to recognize whether a game’s story will be worth my time, and now it usually only takes a few hours before I bail out of the game’s narrative.
15:20 Mailbag: Resolution Wars
Given your recent foray into the graphics technology of ray-tracing I was wondering your thoughts on the other end, the display end
From my perspective you have from 1999 to around 2015 (PC anyway) the highest end of display technology being FHD ie 1080p and then along comes 4k and then before 4k can become standardized along comes 8k and from there who knows, perhaps soon enough we’ll see 2kk, also you have things like HDR and other bells and whistles
Could we be heading towards a sort of arms race with respect to monitors/TV’s? Does the pure pixel count of say 8k mean anything for the developers side? Additional thoughts/speculation?
The video referenced in this segment can be found here. That thing has 2 million views, but YouTube apparently downsampled it to 240p for no discernible reason. I should see if I can find the original for re-upload.
30:33 Mailbag: SfDebris on Episode 1
A little late, but I’ve just listened to your Episode 1 answer.
You didn’t mentioned it, but I wonder if you saw SFDebris series on George Lucas (Hero Journey, Shadow Journey and Hermit Journey)? I just found it very interesting how he explained flaws in Prequel Trilogy, how some of them were unavoidable. And the story behind Original Trilogy is quite interesting as well. I must say, Chuck made me respect George with this series
Best regards, DeadlyDark
I looked at the SfDebris website, and I can’t find anything on Star Wars. And I see a lot of his stuff is still stranded on Vimeo. How frustrating. Chuck makes fantastic content and it’s a shame how hostile YouTube’s automated systems are to his work. While writing this post I discovered his analysis of the V miniseries. Man, I went crazy for that show when I was 12.
35:38 Mailbag: Why are people reluctant to use the Epic Store?
I feel like we covered this recently, but it’s an interesting topic and I don’t mind covering it again.
Why are people reluctant to use the Epic Store? Steam’s features are nice to have, but I can’t imagine internet rage about Epic exclusives is just because people really wanted to play e.g. Phoenix Point with Steam achievements and friends lists.
I ran into this in my own thinking. The Epic Games Store had a sale with $10 off all titles, so I had to decide whether it was worth an extra $10 to buy some game on Steam or EGS. Eventually I decided that nothing about Steam was worth $10 and bought the game on Epic, but that makes it sound immediately obvious and somehow it took me several minutes to decide. I’m still not sure why I feel like Steam is much better.
Are people just attached to their routines and annoyed by Epic trying to change them, or do you think Steam provides some specific value that people are fighting to defend?
46:06 Mailbag: Gamer Boycotts
There has been a lot of noise of late from gamers who are discontent with certain decisions that game devs/publishers are making. Notable examples are things like EGS exclusives and EA making a mess of… everything.
While conventional wisdom holds that companies listen to customers who vote with their wallets, games that are being complained about seem to sell a fair share of copies. Do you guys think that gamers just don’t have the discipline to actually follow up with their threats?
Keep up the good work!
50:32 Mailbag: Anon Video
1) will there ever be another “this dumb industry”. Initially you said you would return to it if you found something infuriating, but i haven’t seen a post like it since.
2) valve and blizzard seem to have a similar fall of grace and have a similar lofty background. Is it fair to compare their fall from grace side by side or are they completely different and just happen to collapse at the same time
3) related to above question. Is it possible for a small studio to deliver another brilliant title like halflife or do modern AAA games require such a large crew that a big name title by a new developer like valve or remedy (max payne) can no longer happen
4) a bit longer question. A while ago under an andromedea retrospective post I joked about how if you would be in the writer’s chair you would also have to write romance. To which you replied you wouldnt be too happy about that. A nice discussion happened to that. And overal it seemed people were confused (for a lack of a better word) about romance in videogames.
Which leads me to the question. Can you write good optional romance in a videogame. Most optional romance (romance no part of the central plot) seems to be mostly about “talk to the girl you like X times and do quest Y and you get the girl”.. This seems stupid, but at the other hand most often the MC is a capable, attractive and interesting character. So it s/he seems to tick most of the boxes of a romantic partner. So really, how can you write romance in a story if it is not integral to the story.
51:51 Question #2
56:27 Question #3
1:00:51 Question #4
Trusting the System
How do you know the rules of the game are what the game claims? More importantly, how do the DEVELOPERS know?
Silent Hill 2 Plot Analysis
A long-form analysis on one of the greatest horror games ever made.
The product of fandom run unchecked, this novel began as a short story and grew into something of a cult hit.
Good to be the King?
Which would you rather be: A king in the middle ages, or a lower-income laborer in the 21st century?
Push the Button!
Scenes from Half-Life 2:Episode 2, showing Gordon Freeman being a jerk.